Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

The Buttercream Bakeshop baker shares five things she always keeps around the kitchen.

Charlie Heller
September 19, 2017

Since founding Washington D.C.'s Buttercream Bakeshop a year and a half ago, pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac has found huge success. It helps that her baked goods both look and taste great, but as she showed the Food & Wine Test Kitchen yesterday, you don't have to be a pro to pull off feats of artistic baking like her Biscoff Cinnamon Cake.

"A lot of people think they do things wrong," she says of home bakers, "but really they just don't have the right equipment." To help remedy that situation, here are five of her favorite kitchen items:

Immersion blender

"My number one favorite tool," MacIsaac says, "is the immersion blender," adding that she uses it so often that she can ask for "the tool" and everyone at Buttercream will know exactly what she's talking about. You can use the convenient handheld mixer to make smooth, creamy fillings, or on the savory side to puree soups.

Breville "BSB510XL Immersion Blender," $94 from amazon.com

Spackling knife

MacIsaac's secret to a perfectly smooth frosting around even the tallest cakes isn't a cooking tool at all, but a wide spackling knife. While usually associated with contracting instead of cooking, it's the perfect way keep a massive frosting spread even.

Allway "10 inch Dryall Flexible Steel Taping Knife," $7 from amazon.com

Stand mixer

While she says the cost makes it more for serious bakers, MacIsaac loves her stand mixer for home cooking. Plus, "they last forever," so its worth looking into used ones as well.

Kitchenaid "Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield," $259, from amazon.com

Sprinkles, lots of sprinkles

"Literally everything needs sprinkles," says MacIsaac, which is why Buttercream has an entire dedicated sprinkle wall with "every kind of sprinkle from every store you can imagine." As you start to build your own wall, remember that there's no single best sprinkle, only the best one for the job. "Nonpareils make something really crunchy, she says while jimmies are soft, and larger pearls filled with chocolate add a different texture entirely.

Wilton "Sprinkle on the Fun Rainbow Sprinkles Set", $36 from amazon.com

 

Cake spinner:

A cake spinner like the Ateco's Buttercream makes it easy to apply beautiful, even coats of frosting to your cakes. Plus, they'll make it more convenient than ever to show off all sides of your work.

Ateco 612 Revolving Cake Decorating Stand, $46 from amazon.com